Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Entangled Tales - 45 - Justin, Daniel & Tony

Justin ran all the way home, upstairs and into his room. He flopped on his bed and stayed there all day and didn't move again - apart from a quick shower. Jonathan came up at 6 o'clock and told him that dinner was served and the grandparents were waiting for him to come down and eat with them.

"I don't want anything to eat. Tell them I'm not hungry."

"You what? You're always hungry. Are you sick or something?"

"Or something. I'm not sick, I'm just not hungry. Go away, Jonathan."

He didn't go away, he came over and sat on the bed beside him.

"What's the matter, Brother. Have you done it - broken up with Billy?"

"Yes, I've broken up with Billy. Not that it's any of your business. I don't want to talk about it. Just go away and leave me alone. The grandparents are waiting."

"Okay. I'm going, but I'll be back. It is my business. If you're hurting then it's very much my business. I love you, Justin."

"Well you might not much longer. Fuck off, Jonathan. There's nothing you can do."

He lay on his bed watching the ceiling slowly getting darker. The telephone beside him rang. He looked at the clock - 7pm. - and ignored the phone.

When it stopped, he got up, put on his shoes and a jacket and climbed out the window. He dropped from the ledge outside down onto the flat roof of the verandah, then from the verandah to the street.

He looked up and down the street, saw no-one looking at him, then he started, south, away from his usual haunts. He walked, alone, through the unfamiliar streets of the south end of Westpoint.

The day slowly turned to night and it began to rain, a hard, windless downpour, but still he walked on through the streets of the night.

When he finally returned to the hotel he was soaking wet. He took off his sodden shoes at the front door and padded, barefoot, up to his room. Jonathan was already there, half-awake and stirring in the bed. Without turning the light on, Justin quickly shed all of his wet clothes, dropping them on the floor in the shower. He towelled himself dry and climbed into bed.

Jonathan grumbled about his being freezing cold, but then he wrapped himself around him to share his body- heat.

Next morning Jonathan awoke to see Justin, fully dressed, sitting at the desk by their computer. He was frantically scribbling away in a notebook and was so focused on what he was doing that he didn't even notice Jonathan watching him.

Finished, he put the pen down and read through what he'd written: then he looked around and saw Jonathan watching him.

"Oh, hello. Been awake long?"

"A few minutes. Are you not running this morning?"

"No. I'm sick of running. I'm not doing that anymore."

"Yeah, right!"

"Seriously. I'm not. Here, take a look at this. Mix up these formulas and you'll have your skin treatment programme."

"We will? You've done it? Great Justin! Superboy strikes again."

"And don't call me Superboy. I'm sick of that too."

Jonathan looked at him, concerned now. "Okay. Justin it is then. We'll go and see Don Howard this morning. He should have all this stuff here. We're on a winner here."

"Forget the 'we'. It's all yours, Jonathan. I don't want to be involved anymore."

"But don't you want to see how it turns out? If it works?"

"No. I'm going down for breakfast now."

Jonathan watched him go, he was really concerned now."

Monday passed, Tuesday, then Wednesday. All the family were getting worried about him now. Justin spent most of the time in his room. He read, some, but he played no music at all - not on the stereo, the radio or even on his guitar. The laughter had gone. There were no tears, but there were no smiles either.

Thursday, breakfastime, Kathleen asked, "Justin, when are you going to see Claire? She's home by now."

"If Claire wants to see me, she knows where I am."

"But don't you want to see her?"

He just shrugged and said, "Sometime."

"Justin, Honey, how come you're not playing your music? Even in your worst days you always played music every evening."

"The music died." He stood up from the table, leaving half of his breakfast uneaten. “If you've finished playing twenty questions, I'll be in my room."

When he had left, she turned to Jonathan and said, "I'm really worried about your brother. I've never seen him like this. What's he doing up in your room anyway?"

"Not a lot, Gran. He's just lying there, looking at the ceiling, sometimes he reads. And, yes, I'm worried about him too. I think he's just waiting."

"Waiting for what?"

"Waiting for Billy - for his answer."

"Well I wish Billy would get a move on then. The sooner they kiss and make up the better."

"I don't know if that's going to happen. I hope it does, but I don't know."

In the afternoon, Claire came around to see him. Her told her what he'd done and why. She told him that he was a bloody idiot, but she'd support him no matter what. She dragged him out of his room and they went driving.

Later, they went back to Claire's house. Justin was unresponsive and simply went along with whatever she said. This suited Claire's bossy nature, but where was the boy she knew?

Sitting in the living room, she put on the CD of him singing Over the Rainbow. Justin just sat and stared out of the window.

"Are you even listening to this, Justin? This is your song. Don't you remember how happy you were to find yourself here - over the rainbow?"

"The music died," he said standing up. "Rainbows only work when the sun's shining. I'm going home now. Later Claire."

"Do you want a lift home, or are you running?"

"The running died too. I'm walking."

He walked out and left her sitting there - worried.

When he arrived back at the hotel, Bob came out of the bar. "Justin, this came for you."

He handed him a large envelope with the words "Justin Reynolds" written on it.

"Billy's sister, Denise, left this for you and she said to tell you that she's really sorry."

A look of dismay crossed his impassive face. He ripped open the envelope and took out the contents - his CD returned along with the letter.. On the back of the letter, Billy had written, "Keep your music, Reynolds. I don't want it."

He stood and stared at these few words that said so much.

"Not what you wanted to hear is it? I'm sorry, Justin. Really sorry."

"You're sorry? I would have thought that you'd be delighted. No more queer affairs happening here."

He walked off, upstairs, went into his room and threw himself on the bed. A few minutes later, Bob followed him. He knocked on the door, received no reply, and he went in anyway. Justin was lying face-down on the bed, his face buried in the pillows.

"Justin? I am not delighted at all, far from it. I admit I struggled at first with your relationship with a boy, but if that is what makes you happy, then I'm happy for you."

"Well you can be really happy now, can't you? I have no relationship - it's over. My life is back to normal, dead on the inside."

"Oh Justin. I'm sorry. I'll be here if you want to talk about it."

"I don't."

Bob left him to his gloom and he went back to the bar.

In the early morning light, Daniel opened his eyes and saw Tony gazing intently at him.

"Hi Guy."

"Hi, My Guy." Tony leaned forward and popped a quick kiss on his lips.

"Mmmm," Daniel stretched. "I wish we could wake up like this everyday."

"Today we can, and tomorrow and tomorrow. One day, everyday."

"Yeah. You still love me?"

"I love you more today than I loved you yesterday." Tony quoted the song.

"And I'll love you more tomorrow," Daniel finished the line with a grin. "This is so good, Tones. Thank you for coming."

"Thank you for being here."

"I'll always be here. But, now - " He curled his legs up, then kicked out suddenly, whipping the covers off them both. "Time to get up. Come on, Boy."

"Do we have to, right now?" Tony pouted and lay rubbing circles on his torso. "What about - you know?"

"What about it? Do you want to have hot, steamy sex right now?"

"Yeah, I do. Don't you?"

"I do, but not now. Do you want to face my family after screwing around on your first morning here?"

"Well, when you put it like that, no, I don't. But we'll finish this tonight."

"We will indeed." Daniel kissed him again. "I'll go and shower next door. You can shower here, then come over."

"I wish we could just stay in here for two weeks."

"Well we can't. For several reasons. Like, I've gotta pee, right now and it looks like you do too. Plus we've got to eat and I want to take you out and show you my new town. Also - we start running today."

"Damm. I was hoping that you'd forget about that."

"No way, Chubby-cheeks. C'mon Tones. Get yourself out of bed and I'll see you soon."

They ate breakfast, cleaned up and then went across to the Todds'. Mavis waved them through the kitchen.

"Good morning, Boys. Go and root him out of bed."

"Thanks Mrs. Todd." They burst into Toddy's room and Daniel pounced on the bed.

"Your mum says we can root you."

"She did? Cool. Got any lube?"

"Root you of out bed, Pervert!" Daniel started tickling his ribs and, laughing, they rolled out on to the floor.

"All right. All right. I'm rooted. I'm outta bed. Get off me you bloody great lump!"

Toddy struggled to his feet and stood stretching. His palms rubbed his ears, then he pushed both hands high above his head, fingers outstretched. He rose on his toes and stood stretching and flexing as he reached for the ceiling.

Daniel and Tony's eyes both widened as they admired the sight - all gleaming white underwear, golden skin and golden curls. The hem of his t-shirt rose on his belly and the tight, white, boxer-briefs left little to the imagination.

The moment passed quickly as Toddy relaxed and grinned. "I'll be in the bathroom. You two can fix my bed, seeing as how you wrecked it."

He padded off and the other two stood on opposite sides of the bed as they straightened the sheets and covers. Tony caught Daniel's eye and grinned.

"Wow! What a body."

"Told you he's hot."

"He's hot all right, but more than that. He could be a model or something."

"Yeah, an underwear model."

"You're a lucky bugger, Daniel O'Brien."

"I'm a lot luckier that I was this time yesterday, Tony Duncan."

Later, they walked around and collected a grumpy, sleepy, Jinks. He had nothing but frowns for Daniel and Tony, but smiled at the other.

"Hey, Toddy."

"Hi, Jinks."

They headed off up the quiet street to the Square for a pre-arranged casual touch-sevens football game. Jinks and Toddy walked behind Daniel and Tony who were walking close together, shoulders almost touching. They were sharing a quiet, joky, private conversation.

Jinks observed, "They're happy. I've never seen Daniel so happy. They're really close aren't they?"

"Yeah, they're close. They've been best friends forever and they both thought they'd lost it. Good to see them back together. Hell, I'd even miss you, Jinks, if you went away."

"I'm not going anywhere. I was born here, I'll probably die here."

"Me too, but wait a few years yet. Jinks, I'll trade you one question."

(This was an old game they'd always played. Each asked one question, yes or no answer and it had to be the truth, no matter what.)

"Okay, Toddy. I've got a question, but you go first."

"Did you have sex with Sherry last night?"

"Barney!"

"C'mon Jinks. One question, you have to answer. I think you did, her jacket's still in your room."

"Okay, the answer's yes, but it was horrible. Your question - have you been having sex with Daniel?"

"Jinks!"

"C'mon yourself. I answered your question."

"Okay, same answer - yes. But it's not horrible, it's great."

"I thought you were. I bloody knew it. So what are you going to do now that Tony's here? You think they're doing it?"

"I don't know and I don't know. We'll just see what happens I guess. What about you and my old girlfriend? Are you going to be going out now?"

"Not bloody likely! I think she was just using me and I didn't like it at all."

"So, that was just a oncer then?"

"Definitely. I'd rather be with you, Toddy."

"Yeah, right!"

('I bloody would though. Who knows? If you've been doing it and those two are doing it now - there might be hope for me yet.')

At the Square, Toddy and Daniel ran out to join Jonathan and the rest of their team. They won the coin toss, (unfortunately), and got to keep their shirts on while the others shed theirs to play as "skins". Jinks went to sit in the grandstand.

"The day you start playing on horseback is when I'll start joining in."

Tony queried, "On horseback?"

"Yeah," Daniel replied. "Jinks and his whole family are mad on horses. They've got I don't know how many horses and they're always playing around with them.'

"We're not playing, Guitar-man. We're training them. They'll make our fortune one of these days."

Toddy grinned. "So they should make you a fortune. They've cost you one over the years."

Tony left some of his outer clothes with Jinks and he headed off to run, slowly, around the encircling track while he waited for the game to finish.

Halfway around his third, painful, circuit, he was stopped by three rough-looking youths who walked out in front of him.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing, Fatboy?"

A little threatened by their expressions, Tony answered quietly. "I'm just running. Minding my own business and running."

"You call that running? Little fat pigs can run faster than that. And who said you could run on our track? This track's for Westpoint people, not for any fucking strangers who think they can come in here and take it over."

"I'm not taking it over."

This was all the excuse the rough needed and he flared. "Don't you talk back to me, you fat scum."

He took a step forward but was blocked by the sudden arrival of Toddy. "You get the fuck away from him, Graeme Johnson. This here's our friend. You mess with him and you mess with me."

"Sounds good to me," said one of the others squaring up. But then he backed off when Jonathan arrived.

"Toddy means you're messing with all of us, Brooks."

"Which one are you? Are you Superboy or the brother?"

"Want to try me and find out?"

"No way. We're outta here. C'mon guys."

"You don't have to leave, just behave yourselves. The days of bullies shoving people around are over in this town."

"Yeah. Yeah." the three youths walked away.

"Thanks Guys." Tony looked around for Daniel who was, finally, arriving on the scene. "I thought I was in for a pounding there."

Toddy tapped his chest. "Nobody's pounding you while we're around. Scream if they come back."

"Oh, I will. Don't worry."

The three friends went back to their waiting game and Tony ran on around the track to join Jinks in the grandstand.

When the game was over, (the 'skins' won - this time), they walked across to the main street and wandered west along there. Jonathan left them at the chemist's shop as he had something to do there, and Daniel, Tony, Toddy and Jinks walked on to the wharves at the end of the street.

They went up along the track on the old railway embankment. Jinks left them at the end of King Street, and the others continued on to the track out at Romney Street. Toddy went home for lunch and Daniel and Tony went back to the Peters'.

After lunch, they walked with John around to the High school where he left them while Daniel showed Tony around there.

They met Mrs. Lewis coming out of the music room. "Hello Daniel. And this must be Tony, I presume? Emily Lewis."

"Yeah. This is Tony, Mrs. Lewis. Tony Duncan."

"Hey Mrs. Lewis. How did you know?"

"Elementary my dear Watson. I know all the kids around your age. You're a stranger here and Peter's already told me all about you. He's really looking forward to meeting you - Whozzat SO needs a singer."

"Who's Whozzat?"

"That's their group. Didn't Daniel tell you? He's their star-guitar. Peter, that's my son, he plays the keyboard, but they can't sing to save themselves. They really need a decent singer."

"Well, Tony does, Mrs. Lewis. Tony sings great We're just going around to Jay's now."

"I'd better not hold you up then, or I'll be in trouble. Would you like a ride? I'm going home now."

"No thanks. We're walking. I'm showing Tony around the town."

"Okay then. It shouldn't take you long - it's only a small town. See you later, Boys. Nice to meet you, Tony."

"Bye Mrs. Lewis."

"Thanks Mrs. Lewis, nice meeting you too."

They parted and walked away. "She seems all right."

"Yeah, she's great. She's the music teacher and Peter's mum. They're a pretty cool family. Over there's the hospital."

"Hey, yeah. I saw that on TV." Tony looked around. "That must be the school library and that's the ramp out back - where the shooting happened."

"That's right. That's where Superboy walked into the bullets."

"Cool. He's one of a kind, isn't he?"

"Well yeah. Apart from the identical twin of course."

"Yep. Jonathan's my hero for sure. He brought me down here. I owe him a lot."

"We both owe him, Tones. Especially me, I owe him the most."

"Do not."

"Do so."

They argued, jokingly, until Daniel suddenly turned off the street they were walking on.

"We're here, at the home of Whozzat. Well it's Jay's home really, but we meet here. Come on in."

He led the way into the open garage and knocked on the bedroom door at the back of it.

"Hello? You lot decent in there? We've got company."

Jay called from inside. "Wait a minute, Guitar-man. We'll be right with you."

Tony asked, "What's with this Guitar-man?"

"It's just a nick-name they've hung on me. Everyone gets one around here. You wait and see, you'll get one too if they like you."

"You think they will, Danny? Like me I mean."

"'Course they will. They'd better or I'm outta here."

The door opened and Jay looked out. "Hey Guys. We were just getting changed. Come on in."

"Sure you were." Daniel walked into the back-room. "Hey Peter, how's it? Peter Lewis, Jay Kynnersley, this is my friend, Tony Duncan."

"Hey Tony Duncan."

"Hey Tony, nice to meet you. Daniel says you sing. Are you going to sing for us? We SO need a singer."

"I dunno. Not much point really, I'm only here for a few days. I'll just watch."

"That's what Daniel said the first time, but he couldn't resist. Could you, Guitar-man?"

"You just watch a while, and maybe then you'll sing for us."

"Leave him alone guys. Tones is a bit shy."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"No I'm not."

"Prove it then - sing."

"Shut up Danny."

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